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Employment, working and health conditions in Bolivian teachers

Education professionals are exposed to different occupational health risks related to their profession, and the assessment of health and work conditions in these professionals contexts, has been reported as an urgent need. For that reason María Teresa Solís Soto (CIH Alumna) in collaboration with Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil, Universidad del Rosario Colombia and the Master in International Occupational Safety and Health at the CIH LMU developed a research project, which objective was to describe employment, working and health conditions among school teachers of Sucre – Bolivia.

A cross sectional study was performed between August and October of 2015. A total of 460 teachers working in 27 schools in Sucre (from a total of 271) were invited to participate. Schools were selected randomly; In each sampled school, all teachers were invited to take part in the study. For feasible reasons school with less than 5 teachers were excluded. To achieve study objectives, several validated and standardized instruments were used (anonymous) including: employment and working conditions (based on questions of Centro - American Survey on Working Conditions and Health, VI National Survey on Working Conditions), health conditions (General Health Questionnaire - GHQ-12), Standardized Nordic questionnaires for the analysis of musculoskeletal symptoms, The European Community Respiratory Health Survey, Assessment of Psychosocial Risks at Work, Irritation index and Efford reward imbalance + Overcommitment.

The study asked for ethical approval from the Research Ethics Committee from San Simón University at Cochabamba–Bolivia; also permission from the Regional Education Service.

In general, the results showed that unfavorable working conditions are related to physical (musculoskeletal pain) and mental health problems especially in teachers working in rural areas. Our results indicate the urgent need to improve working conditions among Bolivian school teachers, in order to promote their health and well-being.

Publications:

Solis-Soto, M. T., Schön, A., Parra, M., & Radon, K. (2019). Associations between effort–reward imbalance and health indicators among school teachers in Chuquisaca, Bolivia: a cross-sectional study. BMJ open, 9(3), e025121.

Solis-Soto, M. T., Schön, A., Solis-Soto, A., Parra, M., & Radon, K. (2017). Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among school teachers from urban and rural areas in Chuquisaca, Bolivia: a cross-sectional study. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 18(1), 425.

Solis-Soto, M. T., Schön, A., Parra, M., & Radon, K. (2018). 1361 Association between perceived demands and barriers and work-related strain in school-teachers in chuquisaca, bolivia.

Solis-Soto, M. T., Schön, A., Parra, M., & Radon, K. Factores psicosociales del ambiente laboral en profesores de áreas urbanas y rurales de Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Revista de Salud Pública, 17-27.

 


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